The Myths & Legends of King Arthur & The Knights of the Round Table (1975)
Album Artwork
Track List
Title Length
1 Arthur 7' 26"
2 Lady of the Lake 0' 45"
3 Guinevere 6' 45"
4 Sir Lancelot and the Black Knight 5' 20"
5 Merlin The Magician 8' 51"
6 Sir Galahad 5' 51"
7 The Last Battle 9' 41"
Artist List
Name Instrument
Rick Wakeman Keyboards
Ashley Holt Vocals
Barney James Drums
David Katz Orch Coordination
David Measham Conductor
Gary Pickford Hopkins Vocals
Geoff Crampton Guitars
John Hodgson Percussion
Roger Newell Bass
Terry Taplin Narration
Wil Malone Orch Arrangement
Catalogue
Type Cat No. Label Country
CD 394 515-2 A&M UK
Vinyl LP AMLH 64515 A&M UK
Cassette CAM64515 A&M UK
CD 3230 A&M USA
Vinyl LP SP4515 A&M USA
Cassette CS-3230 A&M USA
Miscellaneous Information
Equipment Studio Engineering
• Morgan Studios, London during Oct 1974/Jan 1975 • Paul Tregurtha
• Jeremy Stenham (asst)
Rick's Perspective
Notes

This is in many ways a musical autobiography. Much was written in my head whilst lying in Wexham Park Hospital after my first minor heart attack. The Last Battle I wrote after being advised by the specialist, in front of my management, that he recommended I stopped playing and retired in order to give myself a chance of a reasonable recovery.

I was 25.

Thankfully I ignored the advice, wrote The Last Battle that night, and carried on. Heart surgery has come a long way since the mid seventies as well thankfully!

Wakey's Verdict

A very hard album for me to listen to as I can hear the real story within the music. Having said that I think the main theme is probably the best I have written and I am genuinely quite proud of it.

Little Known Trivia

When I recorded the moog solo on Merlin the
Magician I was struggling to make it happen and in frustration crossed the road from the studio to the main bar at Morgan Studios and downed five treble scotches in quick succession. I then returned to the studio and played the solo. I then don't remember too much.

The solo was kept.

Reviews

Robert Nancarrow on 28/04/2013 [Other reviews by Robert Nancarrow ]

This was the first Rick Wakeman album that I heard, back in 1975. I remember hearing "Merlin the Magician" on the Jonnie Walker album chart during half term in October 1975. I was immediately captivated. What I didn't realise at the time, was how many other well know works he had contributed to with artists like David Bowie, Cat Stevens and others.
The album captivated my imagination. The choral and orchestral arrangements were breath taking, as were the keyboards. Tracks such as "Arthur" and" The last Battle" were both powerful and emotive and still have the same effect all these year later. A tremendous album - it always gave me a great buzz when the overture from "Arthur" was used for the coverage of the general election!


Juan Mares on 18/01/2013 [Other reviews by Juan Mares ]

This one is my favourite record from Rick. It brings together three of my greatest passions: progressive rock, keyboards and the Arthurian myths. Very few times, if ever, have I found a record that blends so smoothly the sound of a rock band with electronic keyboards, an orchestra and choir. The opener, "Arthur" is absolutely breathtaking for the ambient, melodies and orchestration, a real paramount of this kind of music, but there is much more here: the strength of "The Black Knight", "Merlin" which sounds mysterious and humourous at the same time, or the final track, evocative and melancholic. Maybe this is not the best record to introduce someone to Rick's music (that would be probably "The Six Wives"), but for me this one is his most polished gem.


Rich Deem on 02/03/2009 [Other reviews by Rich Deem ]

I think it's time for a review. This LP has it all. Rock, Prog, Classical….you name it. But it's more than that. When I first heard it, I was lost in Camelot.


Marty on 21/02/2009 [Other reviews by Marty ]

I bought this after JOURNEY' and found it VERY difficult to get into at first !!!! But i stuck with it, and it soon floated my boat !!! Iv got it on CD, but still have it on vinyl, the middle of the gatefold sleeve is bril',and the booklet is bril', great music and great escapism !!!


Caroline Locke on 20/08/2008 [Other reviews by Caroline Locke ]

Fantastic orchestration.The first track is so powerful it bring tears to my eyes everytime I listen to it.I bought it in the early Eighties.I have loved Rick's piano playing since 1976.I sincerely believe that Rick is a musical genius.


Fernando Lantery on 24/09/2005 [Other reviews by Fernando Lantery ]

Absolutely amazing! Everything I like is in here, classic style music using a lot of harpsichords, medieval choirs, excellent piano works and a lot of amazing classics keyboards sounds, featuring vintage Moogs and Mellotrons very well interpreted. It sound very creative, there is a huge orchestra sounds with exotic instruments (like church bells), that only Rick has the audacity to use.


Col on 06/12/2004 [Other reviews by Col ]

I can never listen to this album without remembering that amazing gig at Wembley on ice. The orchestra all fall over trying to get to their positions, the skaters collided a couple of times ended on their arses. But behind it all the sublime music.


Carlos Fernandez on 06/07/2004 [Other reviews by Carlos Fernandez ]

The best gift in my life. Thank you, Rick.


Clive Stitfall on 13/02/2004 [Other reviews by Clive Stitfall ]

My first LP. A lucky guess on my part based on hearing snippets of Yes at school. This was and remains a "classic" album and it's hard to pick a favourite track. Nearly 30 years on and I still can't listen to it without playing "air" keyboard. It's a rollercoaster ride through musical moods evoking images of each of the characters. If there's another album like this out there, let me know as I'd love to hear it.


Alan Morgan on 23/10/2003 [Other reviews by Alan Morgan ]

Having heard Journey when it first came out in 1974, I was really eager to hear what Arthur held in store for us. The packaged Booklet was a joy to handle for the first time, and I anticipated the music with what can only be described as glee. Back were the vocal duo from the previous release, and in fine voice they were too. Every track on this has it's merits, but my favourites have to be the Opener, "Arthur" and the opening track from the second side, "Merlin". The spoken word finish, concerning the fate of Arthur was very moving, and I do wonder how much of that last statement is true. Arthurian Legend is one of my interests, and this is a very fitting musical tribute.


Allan Minder on 22/08/2003 [Other reviews by Allan Minder ]

A true masterpiece! This unique combination of orchestral and progressive has to be heard to be believed. Some of his leads will remind you of his rockin "YES" years. This definitely has Rick's signature synths on it! A "MUST HAVE"


Tim Boudewijn van der Wart on 30/03/2002 [Other reviews by Tim Boudewijn van der Wart ]

The MaLoKAatKotRT is a very emotional and personal masterpiece. It is my number one Wakeman record. If anyone of you owns the family album and wonders why Rick himself isn’t on it; that’s because he already described himself musically here...I think Rick is Merlin; both very wise and genius as he is humorous and affectionate. The album is full of the prettiest music with an historical feeling to it, instrumentally and verbally a perfect achievement. And a definite must to all the genuine fans, if you don’t like it, I can’t understand what attracts you in Rick’s music at all. You just got to have this, it are Rick’s heart and soul that speak on this one.


Iván Melgar Morey on 09/03/2002 [Other reviews by Iván Melgar Morey ]

25 years, two vinyls, three cassetes and one CD have passed since I bought my first Myths & Legends, and certainly I've never heard a better album. This masterpiece has everything, narration, great chorus, atmosphere and of course the great talent of Rick. The songs have a perfect balance, they go from the epic Arthur to the nostalgic Last Battle. Every progressive fan must have a copy.


Tina Hansen on 27/03/2001 [Other reviews by Tina Hansen ]

This album is definitely "fit for a king." It shows the power of a good story with music that anyone can appreciate.


Samantha Dawn on 05/02/2001 [Other reviews by Samantha Dawn ]

As a child I listened to this album. My imagination was brought to life and I was captured by its magic. I am now 33 & 10 months old, and still every time I listen to the tracks it is as if I was listening to it all for the first time. I encourage anyone to listen to the album in its entirety. Everytime you hear it, something new will delight! After playing 2 cassettes to their death and being told I could not get a replacement...I am overjoyed to be able to yet again listen to it again, on CD! Your purchase will be its weight in gold. You will not be disappointed.


Alexander Lopez on 05/10/2000 [Other reviews by Alexander Lopez ]

This is an album I'd choose to make a "Les Miserables" style theatre show, complete with dialogues and dances. Although Metallica and Scorpions have done this "rock band meets the symphonic orchestra" gig recently, if you purchase "The Myths and Legends..." first, you'll agree with me that those Men In Black rockers needed more training before attempting this kind of work.


Remy Struli on 05/07/2000 [Other reviews by Remy Struli ]

This album is very English and pompous, that's why I like it a lot. It has also good humour on it, at some places it reminds me always of Monty Python's Holy Grail Movie and it's also very emotional: In "The Last Battle", where the narration begins, I always nearly have to cry...Here lies King Arthur...blimey, my heart stops...Thanks, Rick.


Boran Kartal on 30/06/2000 [Other reviews by Boran Kartal ]

This album is a great collage of orchestral music and progressive rock. It is one of the greatest LPs that I've ever listened to. Solo partitions by Wakeman are amazing; they take you to another world.


Dylan Groot on 05/06/2000 [Other reviews by Dylan Groot ]

With this album, Rick Wakeman truly gives a new dimension to the King Arthur legend. The music is so bravely formed, that it's hard not to get dragged into the realm only Wakeman is able to create. The combination of rock and classical music is just perfect. From the romantic sound of "Guinevere" to the agressive and powerful "Sir Lancelot And The Black Knight". There are not many artists who can give sounds to legends, Wakeman makes the exception and proves he's the true Keymaster. If Merlin had transformed himself into a song, this is what he would sound like...


Carol Vance on 27/04/2000 [Other reviews by Carol Vance ]

This particular album is one of Rick Wakeman's finest works. Although it was regarded in the mid '70's as a colorful spoof with mediocre quality, I must thoroughly disagree. In studying the themes and contrapuntal texture, not to mention the addition of a stylized classical rock mixture, this album should be re-released and marketed for a new generation of music connoisseurs that appreciate true musical talent and not merely a beat with clever words thrown in. Guinevere is my favorite track as well.


Reniet Ramirez on 12/04/2000 [Other reviews by Reniet Ramirez ]

It's a strange album if you were expecting to hear Rick the way he plays on YES. But take the time, it's worth it. It's a very nice way to learn the history of King Arthur.... It's definitely a classic!


Max Hult on 06/03/2000 [Other reviews by Max Hult ]

This is the greatest symphonic rock album I've heard from Rick, although I'm longing to hear No Earthly Connection... a perfect record for introducing listeners to Wakeman's music... this is one of the only musts in Rick's collection of records, as it contains the most important pieces like Arthur, Merlin and The Last Battle... Lancelot is great too, although I prefer the version on King Biscuit, which contains additional trumpet melodies and so on... don't miss this one!


Phill Emmerson on 21/02/2000 [Other reviews by Phill Emmerson ]

Who so pulleth out this album from the record shelves shall be the true born listener of a classic album, this is an album everyone should have, reviews do not do Arthur justice, just buy it and listen. 9/10


Stephen McKinley on 25/01/2000 [Other reviews by Stephen McKinley ]

Although this album is now a quarter of a century old, it still sounds as good now as the day I first heard it all those years ago. Wakeman gave imagery to the Arthur mystic that no film or miniseries has ever been able to create. Every track is still a winner, but Merlin is, and probably always will be, one of the best instrumentals of last century. A must have album for all!


Sanjeev Raman on 25/11/1999 [Other reviews by Sanjeev Raman ]

Picked up this album today along with "Journey....Earth" and "The Six wives ........". It is truly mindblowing. Calling it brilliant may be considered an understatement. Though I don't really like the vocals on it. They sound tired. But on the whole, a masterpiece. "Merlin the Magician" gets top ranking among the tracks.


Ben Jordan on 29/01/1999 [Other reviews by Ben Jordan ]

The King Arthur album is another triumph for the greatest ivory-tickler in the world. Another concept album, with a stirring opener which attempts quite well to provide a medieval-meets-modern musical blend. However for me it is 'Merlin' which truly defines the album, with its melodic precision and stylisic fusion - with a madcap honkytonk interlude. I saw Rick play this track on a video of a 1975 Australian concert and you can't help but marvel at the man's gift, which for me 'Merlin' perfectly demonstrates. The other tracks are good too, but not in the same league as 'Merlin' and 'Arthur'. And the vocals are again too weak for my liking (as with Journey), but don't let that put you off - a worthwhile addition to your collection.


Murat Selcuk on 16/09/1998 [Other reviews by Murat Selcuk ]

After many years, I can still feel myself excited. So what more can I say!


Bjorn Olaf Syvertsen on 04/12/1997 [Other reviews by Bjorn Olaf Syvertsen ]

This used to be my favourite Rick Wakeman album, but now "Journey to the Centre of the Earth" has passed it. The good thing about this album, is that some tracks are really great ("Arthur", "Sir Galahad" and "The Last Battle"), while others are not that good. The style is however very fascinating, and being a medievalist myself, I clearly delight in the lyrics, the cover and the "text book". "Arthur" is the perfect opener and my favourite Rick Wakeman track, next to "Judas Iscariot" from "Criminal Record".


Tom Brenny on 24/09/1997 [Other reviews by Tom Brenny ]

The perfect marriage of rock with orchestra to create the definitive portrait of Arthur. Monumental music worthy of this great king. The moog sounds dated, but the music and orchestrations are timeless. The closest to a perfect album I've seen!


John Kennedy Mixon on 16/05/1997 [Other reviews by John Kennedy Mixon ]

This album is a triumphant artwork! One can close their eyes and picture the unfolding of personalities and perspectives of King Arthur, his Knights and, of course, Merlin. Rick has managed to intertwine the sounds of the medieval times with a touch of classical and careful use of modern instruments. This is a masterpiece in every sense of the word!


Eduardo Valle on 29/03/1997 [Other reviews by Eduardo Valle ]

This is Wakeman's masterpiece. The consolidation of Symphonic Rock. The atmosphere created with orchestra and choir is wonderful. The music turns around a theme, being variations of this theme. Wakeman shares his space with other musicians and orchestra allowing the music to flow without excess of virtuosity.